This website is now an archive of the restoration and should only be used as a resource. Please visit the Lion Salt Works website for the most up-to-date information.

Welcome to the Lion Salt Works blog

The Lion Salt Works is a historic brine salt making site that is being restored and transformed into a unique heritage attraction. Led by Cheshire West and Chester Council, this £8million project will see the site reborn as a fascinating destination for tourists, day visitors and families and a valued resource for local communities, businesses and heritage interest groups.

Located in the village of Marston, close to the town of Northwich, the site lies adjacent to the Trent and Mersey Canal and is close to the historic Anderton Boat Lift. A substantial part of the site is a Scheduled Monument.

Restoration work has now started on the site, with an expected opening in spring 2015. The Lion Salt Works is currently closed to the public.

Monday, 21 May 2012

May 2012 - Propping the pan houses and drilling the ground - work continues on site

Over the last few weeks steady progress has been made at the Lion Salt Works.

Scaffolding has continued in Pan House 3 and is being put up around the remains of Pan House 4 (picture right) which lies to the east. The scaffold is being placed either side of the pan and bridged over it.

Either side of the large pan for salt boiling were wooden platforms known as 'hurdles' from which the salt workers skimmed the salt from the boiling surface. These were made of three inch thick timbers laid loosely on a wooden framework. To the right John and Gary pass scaffold poles through the loose boards to allow a scaffold platform to be formed over the pan from which work can commence on the roof.

The percussion rig in front of Pan House 4
The window sampler in the Pan Garden 
Meanwhile elsewhere on the site geo-technical boreholes have been undertaken. These are drilled through the earth in order to understand the make-up of the ground below the monument. The largest rig (seen on the right) goes down up to 18 metres underground.

A smaller rig known as a 'window sampler' (seen left) goes down to a shallower depth of 8 metres. Here it is seen in the Pan House Garden next to the Ollershaw Lane bridge next to the canal.

The boreholes provide a profile of the soil and geological material below the site. This will allow an understanding of foundation work required below the buildings.

A decayed rail track was excavated
seen on the left of the photo
In order to prevent damage to archaeological remains below the ground, test pits were dug before each hole was drilled. These allowed the discovery of interesting remains from previous phases of the Lion Salt Works. The test pit adjacent to Pan House 4 revealed the remains of train rails and sleepers.

The tracks are exposed elsewhere on site, on which sit the remains of the salt wagon. These curve round the Red Lion Inn and in front of the two pan houses where coal would have been unloaded directly into the stove houses.
The exposed tracks by the salt carriage

A brick surface is visible in the base of the test pit
adjacent to the bridge on Ollershaw Lane 

Elsewhere a buried brick surface probably represent some of the remains of an earlier pan house built in around 1900 that was located next to the bridge on Ollershaw Lane. The brick surface probably represents a gutter running down the side of the pan that took the waste salt brine away.

The rail line can be seen on the
1910 map snaking into the Lion Salt Works

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